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#4616657 - 12/28/17 12:12 PM Winterize distilled water, how to?
sasilverbullet Offline


Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1421
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
I'm running straight distilled water in my windshield washer fluid reservoir.

I want to "winterize" it down to about 15 degrees.

Can I just add some kind of alcohol? If so, what kind and mix ratio?

I don't want to use the off-the-shelf stuff from the parts store.
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#4616661 - 12/28/17 12:24 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 2999
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada

Add one cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to any of the first three methods if temperatures drop below freezing. If your winters are mild, use 70% rubbing alcohol. If you experience extreme cold weather, use 99% instead.

Taken from this link... Do you know how much water you already have in the reservoir?

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Windshield-Washer-Fluid


Edited by JC1 (12/28/17 12:25 PM)
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#4616666 - 12/28/17 12:31 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4741
Loc: MA
It probably won't make financial sense. Windshield washer fluid is a mixture of methanol and water. The lower the freezing point, the more methanol. We get a mixture here that good to -20F and it's about $1.58 at Walmart. Buying methanol or isopropyl alone is probably going to be a lot more expensive. Isopropyl is easier to get, but it may damage the paint which is why methanol is preferred. Methanol is supposed to be bad for the environment which is why they stop selling it around here during the summer and only do the winter mix in cold weather.

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#4616671 - 12/28/17 12:41 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1962
Loc: VA
Yes, also usually on specials one can get washer fluid for ~$1.

Even Walmart has them for cheap.

But isopropyl is a safe choice, provided if that's the ONLY one option.
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#4616672 - 12/28/17 12:42 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
dave123 Offline


Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 2313
Loc: wi
Vodka

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#4616676 - 12/28/17 12:52 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Isopropyl alcohol should not harm the paint in any way.

Aircraft use washer fluid made from isopropyl, not methanol. It's less corrosive.
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#4616683 - 12/28/17 12:58 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20446
Loc: Upstate NY
I buy orange Prestone deicer and run it year round. Why bother to mix your own? I thnk it has ammonia in it also. Or it seemed to smell like ammonia when I was filling the reservoir.
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#4616701 - 12/28/17 01:14 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Jimzz Offline


Registered: 10/03/14
Posts: 1137
Loc: NoVA
Why are you running pure water? The alcohol is not just for freeze protection but also to control bacteria and mold growth.

But as said you can just buy the -20 at walmart for less than $1.60. You can thin it out 1 to 1 so 2 gallons of washer fluid for less than $1.60.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Tech-Winter-Formula-Windshield-Washer-Fluid/17179676
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#4616711 - 12/28/17 01:25 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
slacktide_bitog Offline


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6135
Loc: USA
what's wrong with off-the-shelf washer fluid? smile

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#4616714 - 12/28/17 01:27 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Oldtom Offline


Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 326
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
I am really cheap, but, the premium antifreeze that prevents refreezing works great. The premium antifreeze contains ethylene glycol which does not evaporate like alcohol. Prestone makes this, among others. The worlds cheapest human says go ahead and treat yourself :-)

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#4616718 - 12/28/17 01:29 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: slacktide_bitog]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3039
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: slacktide_bitog
what's wrong with off-the-shelf washer fluid? smile


I seem to remember a very similar post about not wanting to use off the shelf washer fluid a year or two ago. I asked the same question as you. The OP got quite testy but never stated what he had against the blue stuff.
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#4616821 - 12/28/17 02:51 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Kestas Online   content



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12322
Loc: The Motor City
I switch out seasonally so I don't have to use the bottled washer fluid in the summer and save some money. I've learned not to use blue dishwashing soap for the summer to avoid confusion. Any other color soap but not blue.

To the OP, If you want to add alcohol to the existing water mix or even if you use the bottled fluid, make sure to push the new fluid through so the existing water doesn't freeze in the lines.

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#4616905 - 12/28/17 04:19 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: Oldtom]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4741
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: Oldtom
I am really cheap, but, the premium antifreeze that prevents refreezing works great. The premium antifreeze contains ethylene glycol which does not evaporate like alcohol. Prestone makes this, among others. The worlds cheapest human says go ahead and treat yourself :-)


I can be cheap too, but usually antifreeze is more than windshield washer fluid. There's really no cheaper alternative than the stuff you buy at the store. Only really cheap alternative is to reduce the concentration of methanol by adding water to it to lower the percentage of methanol and to increase the freezing point.

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#4616954 - 12/28/17 05:19 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Greggy_D Offline


Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 1676
Loc: Michigan
The Prestone 3-in-1 is 3 bucks at WalMart. Why use anything different all year round?
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#4616957 - 12/28/17 05:31 PM Re: Winterize distilled water, how to? [Re: Greggy_D]
bmwjohn Offline


Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 728
Loc: indianapolis in
I use the Rain-X or the Meijers imitation Rain x washer fluid that supposedly doesn't freeze and also coats the glass with a rain x type substance. Seems to help a little, not stunning. $2.50 to $3.00 typically per gallon.

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